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Take a Walk on the Wildside


Paddy Aldridge's Biography - page 02

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Virginia Prince and Paddy Aldridge

It is our philosophy to help educate those who come to us so they can make the right choices for themselves and feel more comfortable. Some feel they are transsexual so we advise them to seek out the Gender Clinic in the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry or the Sherbourne Health Clinic where they can get professional help from the doctors. Some want to dress up and be punished through the services of a dominatrix. We don't help them in this aspect of crossdressing, but there are many sources for that type of outlet. Some want to make friends at Saturday get-togethers at the Canadian CrossDressers Club. Many of our members have done just that and before long, they network themselves socially with their peers and no longer need the club. This is healthy natural social growth.

I have seen families torn apart by husbands and fathers who think they are transsexual and want to become women. A few men have learned to control their desires and have given up crossdressing to save their families from splitting up. We do not counsel men to crossdress, but we do provide a safe atmosphere for them if they wish to do it on their own and not bother their families with their behaviour. We never encourage these crossdressing men to come out to their families. It is wise to know who to tell and who not to tell, and it's sometimes wiser not to tell anyone in the family at all. Some brave women do cope with husbands who crossdress. They are to be saluted, but not at the expense of the women who can't cope.

All men do not crossdress for the same reasons. Some want to eventually become women through hormones and surgery. Others want to look like women just once a year, some every Saturday night. Some wear just a pair of panties and a bra when they crossdress, others want to go out in public and be recognized as women. Some have the support of their wives, friends and families, others have never told a soul of their secret desire to crossdress.

As with any hobby, the person who engages in crossdressing will often progress from one level to the next. He gains the expertise that makes him bored with the level he is at and accumulates the experience that gives him the knowledge of how to proceed to the next level. In the beginning, panties may be all he needs to satisfy his desires but each time after that, he may add another piece of lingerie until he has the complete kit and feels comfortable with it. A wig and makeup may then become necessary, followed by a full wardrobe of outer clothing and then the desire to go out in public.

He may become dissatisfied with his body hair and shave his legs and chest. Electrolysis, both painful and expensive, may come next as he tires of seeing his beard shadow poke through the makeup after a few hours. The ultimate in femininity is women's breasts and he may purchase mail order "hormones" to see if he can grow his own, or if not, purchase an expensive pair of silicone breast forms. Those mail order wonder hormone products don't work, they never have and they never will. Don't take hormones without a doctors care - your body could become riddled with blood clots, especially if you smoke.

And lastly, he may see himself as a woman trapped in a man's body and seek help from a gender clinic to take that final step. Or he may consider this step too drastic and prefer to exist in a transgender limbo living in androgyny as both man and woman or as a woman all the time. Truly a third sex.

If I were a doctor, I feel the men I have interviewed would not have been so open with me. I obtained these interviews by making a formal request to interview the person while they were having their makeup applied. They were already dressed in feminine attire and resting comfortably on a fully reclined antique barber's chair in my makeup studio. In this relaxed state, they were usually happy to talk about their inner feelings. I am frequently the first person who has expressed a sincere interest in hearing what they have to say and they are delighted to talk with me.

For some, guilt plays a major role in the crossdressing experience. Most crossdressers do not know why they want to crossdress. They just know they have to do it though they may hate the idea. Some want to be forced to crossdress by dominant women because in this way they can transgress their own moral code and transfer their guilt to the artificial oppressor. Some crossdressers experience a distinct personality change. The moment this occurs is usually different for each person. For some, the change can come as they prepare days ahead for their Saturday night of crossdressing.

For others, it happens after they are dressed. Glamorous in makeup and a wig, they look in the mirror and see their feminine selves staring back. Narcissism, if it exists in the crossdresser, will present itself at this moment. Eye riveted to their exciting new image, they will fall in love. The need to re-create this image again will absorb much of their waking hours. Some return to have me duplicate the look exactly as I first created it, for they are lonely for "that girl". Some return seeking a totally different look each time - as if to see how long it will take for me to run out of ideas. I never have. Some men come in once, try it and leave, never to return again.

A friend, Phil Donahue and Patricia Aldridge